Rx for Sloppy Newsletter Syndrome


There’s an epidemic going around.

Don’t panic. If it strikes, you won’t need to rush to the ER or be quarantined. But you will need to take immediate action.

Your physical health isn’t in peril, but the health of your art business is at stake.

The epidemic is SENS – Sloppy Email and Newsletter Syndrome. Let me explain the symptoms so you can self-diagnose:


Symptom 1: Missing Name

This is the most destructive of all the SENS symptoms.

I’ve lost count of how many artist newsletters I receive without the artist’s full name in them. Sure, your first name might be there. Or your last name. Or it might be in the footer.

But I shouldn’t have to search for your full name. Go look at the last email or newsletter sent to your list right now. Where does your full name appear? If you scroll down, does it appear again to remind readers of the sender?

Your name is your brand. You have to associate your name with your art.

Can you imagine forgetting your name on a postcard? Or a wall label?

Prescription: Make your full name clearly visible in your newsletters and emails!


Symptom 2: Image Anemia

At a time when images rule cyberspace, why would you, a visual artist, neglect using images of your art in your email correspondence?

In addition, why would you use tiny images when you have the whole width of the email column to fill? We’re no longer afraid of scrolling, and your email is competing with a lot of other bright shiny objects in our inboxes.

WOW us!

Prescription: Images of your art: the bigger, the better.


Symptom 3: Text Failure

Take your pick of text mistakes:

Your text is too small … your text is too light … your text lines are too cramped.

Any one of these can make it harder for your recipients to read what you have to say. Together they amount to #failure.

Prescription: Larger, darker text with sufficient line spacing.


Symptom 4: Multiple Columns

Multiple email columns are très 2010. We now know that up to 50% of our email messages are read on mobile devices.

Ever tried to read a 2-column email on your smart phone? Even if you can read it, it’s next to impossible to click on a link.

Why make it difficult for those you treasure on your list?

Prescription: Stick with a single column for your email newsletters.

There’s no sense sending an email if you’re not WOWing your list with images, if you make the text hard to read, or if you forget to use your full name.

Diagnosing your SENS symptoms and taking the prescription will help you get better results for all of your efforts.

What’s your diagnosis?

Alyson Stanfield is an artist advocate and business mentor at ArtBizCoach.com. This article was originally published in her Art Biz Insider, which is sent weekly to thousands of artists who are elevating their businesses. Start your subscription now and get Alyson’s 6 free art-marketing video lessons at http://artbizcoach.com